Bay Area Hospital Bed Availability Declines as COVID-19 Cases Rise

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More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with COVID-19, and hospitals in the South Bay are seeing their highest number of patients since April.

San Francisco has about 30% of beds available, and in the South Bay it’s closer to 18%.

“We continue to be at risk of exceeding our hospital capacity,” said Dr. Jennifer Tong of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Hospitals in the Bay Area are working together to make sure there is no overflow.

Santa Clara County doubled down on Wednesday, asking everyone to do their part as they expect more patients in the coming days.

“We are especially concerned because none of the hospitals serving South County and East San Jose had more than five ICU beds available as of yesterday,” Tong said.

That includes Regional Medical Center in East San Jose. But a spokesperson said there is some good news – overall, patients are going home sooner which frees up beds, and most don’t have as severe of symptoms.

This is because the patients are younger, and the staff is better prepared for what treatments to use.

“We anticipated this, and I think we are a little more prepared so we can accommodate them,” said Dr. Padma Yarlagadda of Regional Medical Center.

Regional also said it’s ready to expand its COVID unit to other floors, but they don’t need to yet.

“We can open up the tents, but hopefully we don’t go there,” Yarlagadda said.

“Our hospitals throughout the county are working together engaging in phone calls, at least daily, to redistribute patients as needed,” Tong said.

County officials said that although beds are filling up, anyone having a medical emergency shouldn’t hesitate to go to the hospital.

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